Sunday, June 21, 2009
Tom Swift -Earliest Dust jackets
Clearly the Tom Swift Series was one of the most popular juvenile series ever published. Along with the Rover Boys, Grosset and Dunlap had two giant sellers in the early days of the twentieth century.
The first 5 books in the Tom Swift Series were published in 1910 as a "breeder set". Another five came in 1911 and yet another five in 1912. Thereafter one new book was published per year until in 1935 when volume #38 Tom Swift and His Planet Stone was published.
The familiar quadrant cover was used until it was replaced with a blind stamped orange cloth cover in 1932/1933 during the early print run of "the Giant Magnet". There were three basic dust jacket formats. Quadrant, duotoneand full color. Today I am going to address the quadrant dust jackets.
As with most all series books the earliest formats had dust jackets which matched the cover of the book. The Tom Swift Series was no exception to this rule.
In the first year of production books #1-5 had the earliest dust jacket. red line drawn on a brownish background without any other colors. The dust jacket reverse only listed the first five titles-indicating its 1910 publication. This jacket was used for one year
The second dust jacket lists 10 titles on the reverse (indicating a 1911 date). It has dark green coloration in addition to the red on a brown paper dust jacket.
The third and final quadrant dust jacket is the same as the second only on a white paper dust jacket. This one lists anywhere from 15 titles (1912 book) to 20 titles (1917 book). After this quadrant dust jacket ran its course, the duotones were put into production.
The rarest Tom Swift dust jacketed book can be argued about. Some say it is the First format quadrant cloth Giant Magnet. Other say it is not a jacketed book at all but the Keds paperback reprints (see a future blog entry), in my mind it is a 1910 dust jacketed book.